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Volunteering and Communication

Studies from Multiple Contexts

Edited By Michael W. Kramer, Loril M. Gossett and Laurie K. Lewis

This book won the 2014 Applied Communication Division Award for Outstanding Edited Book

There is a growing interest in studying nonprofit organizations and volunteers as an alternative to studying employees in for-profit businesses and government agencies. This is driven in part by the recognition that volunteers make important contributions to society and the economy. This book is the first edited volume written primarily by communication scholars to focus on volunteers. It explores the experience of being a volunteer and managing volunteers through a focus on empirical examination of communication in volunteering. The contributors explore volunteers broadly and are divided into five sections which cover becoming a volunteer; learning about self as a volunteer; dark sides of volunteering; organizationally supported volunteering; and voice and dissent. The final chapter suggests areas of future research and application of the book.
An important focus of the book is its data-based, empirical studies. Although each chapter includes applications, those recommendations are based on systematic studies of volunteers rather than primarily on anecdotal evidence or previous literature. Furthermore, each chapter includes a brief field experience narrative written by a volunteer, as well as addressing a broader conceptual or theoretical issue of organizational studies. In this way the book provides more than just case studies of volunteers, but also addresses general organizational issues.


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Section 1: Becoming a Volunteer


Chapter 2 BLOGGING FOR PEACE: REALISTIC JOB PREVIEW STRATEGIES FROM THE 21ST CENTURY PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER Casey Malone Maugh The University of Southern Mississippi On March 1, 2011, the Peace Corps celebrated its success as the longest standing Foreign Service organization in the United States. Over the past 50 years, more than 200,000 volunteers have served in 139 countries around the world. During the 1960s, the organization touted its slogan, “The toughest job you’ll ever love,” as volunteer numbers reached all-time highs with more than 15,000 volunteers in service per year (Fast Facts). In 2003, the Peace Corps, in keeping with the millennial shift and to reinvigorate volunteer submissions, created a new slogan, “Life is calling. How far will you go?” (Public service advertising). The Peace Corps slogan has shifted its appeal to an ever-changing volunteer population. What was once an idealistic state- ment about the difficulties of volunteer life coupled with the rewards of ser- vice is now a statement of great adventure and a call away from everyday life. In addition to the change in slogan, over the past decade, Peace Corps Volunteer blogs have become increasingly popular as an unofficial means of recruiting future volunteers. Before committing to service, potential volun- teers visit the Internet to read volunteer accounts of life in service. The vol- unteer blog, as a tool, may do as much for Peace Corps recruitment as the organization does on its own. Therefore, analyzing blogs not only provides insight into the life...

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